Press Release
For Immediate Release: 
March 2, 2021
Contact Info: 
Katie Grant Drew 202-225-3130
 WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) introduced Secretary of State Tony Blinken this evening ahead of his conversation with House Democrats during the Democratic Issues Conference. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
 
“Thank you, Mikie, both for that warm welcome and for being an outstanding member of our Caucus. Tonight, our focus is on restoring American leadership around the world. And we have as our guest someone who can speak from great experience to that objective. 

"Tony Blinken has not only been President Biden’s advisor on foreign policy for many years; he has been described as the president’s foreign policy twin. Someone who can step in and articulate the President’s views clearly and effectively and see them put into action. Someone who has his complete trust.

"Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to get to know Tony Blinken and observe his talent. As Staff Director to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and later Deputy National Security Advisor and Deputy Secretary of State, he worked closely with me and with other House Members to hold Iran accountable and to promote peace and security in the Middle East.
 
“Having grown up with a stepfather who survived the Holocaust, Secretary Blinken sees the issues of global security, human rights, and democracy as deeply personal. He has always brought to his work not only that deep personal commitment but also a great deal of skill and an enormous amount of steadiness and professionalism. His selection to be America’s chief diplomat was a signal that this Administration wants to put an end to the last four years of bluster, bluff, braggadocio, thoughtlessness, petulance, and unilateralism in our foreign policy.
 
“In our globally connected economy, we’ve learned just how quickly and lethally a virus can spread from nation to nation, irrespective of borders. We’ve learned, too, how quickly misinformation and illiberalism can spread in the same manner. And we’ve seen how trade wars have hurt the livelihoods of American farmers, businesses, and consumers.
 
“Meanwhile, the credibility of American leadership is questioned in every corner of the world, as the previous Administration treated our enemies with respect and deference and our allies with contempt and dismissiveness.
There can now be no doubt about what the world looks like when America steps back from the world and from our principles. 

"Thirty years ago, when I served as chair of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, I witnessed a moment in global affairs that was very much the opposite of where we stand today. As the Cold War ended in 1991, we observed the springtime of democracy, a resurgence of freedom and openness, and an embrace of multilateralism. Today, global democracy is enduring a dangerous winter; the forces of far-right populism and mistrust of international institutions has led to a weakening of our foundational alliances and an emboldening of dictators and would-be autocrats.
 
“The House and its Members must be as involved as we were at the end of the Cold War if we are to ensure that the Biden Administration has every tool needed to meet the challenges and opportunities this moment presents. Over the next forty-five minutes, we will have a chance to hear directly from Secretary Blinken about his vision for restoring American leadership in the world and using our foreign policy to strengthen our recovery, expand opportunity, and provide for our security here at home and around the world.

“So, I hope you will join me in providing a very warm welcome to the seventy-first U.S. Secretary of State, Tony Blinken.”